Home What can you do to help Uranium Oct 2008 Update

Oct 2008 Update

Hello Defenders,

This Update is being sent to report on recent activities, and a number of new developments in which we need to be involved. The following is a list of what is included in this Report.

1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission GEIS deadline extended to Nov. 7, 2008.
2. Sioux Ranger District Travel Management DEIS available for comments.
3. Comments sought on Craven Canyon exclusion from mining.
4. Black Hills Pow Wow Table and Banner
5. Defenders Financial Status Report
6. Powertech applies for 30 more exploratory wells.
7. TSNTC Statement to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Populations.
A short summary is given for each topic. Although Defenders will be sending comments as an organization, your individual comments are also very important. In the past we sent out form letters but learned they are counted only as one comment. So it is important for each person to put their concerns in their own words, and possibly more concerns or support will be given. Thank you so much for your input in this important work to help Unci Ina Makoce, Grandmother Mother Earth.
Submitted by,
Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission GEIS deadline extended to Nov. 7, 2008.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants to issue Generic Environmental Impact Statements for some areas in Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and New Mexico. Their idea is that where there are similarities, then they will not have to go into specific details. The document is over 500 plus pages. We, along with a number of other environmental organizations, asked for a 180 day extension and received another 30 days. One of our concerns is that the GEIS states that there are no cultural resources such as sacred places or burial or archaeological sites in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska. This is a blatant lie! So it makes us wonder about the rest of the information in the document. We encourage everyone to get a copy or go to the internet if possible, read and make comments on the document. Even sending a letter stating that “no more uranium mining should occur until all past mines and exploratory wells are cleaned up” will help. There are more than 142 abandoned uranium mines and prospects in the Southern Black Hills alone! Please send a card or letter as soon as possible to the address in the following notice. Thank you.

Extension of Public Comment Period on the Draft Generic Environmental
Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Extension of public comment period.

SUMMARY: This notice revises a notice published on September 19, 2008, in the Federal Register (73 FR 54435), which announced, in part, that the public comment period for the NRC's draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities (Draft GEIS) closes on October 7, 2008. The purpose of this notice is to extend the public comment period on the draft GEIS to November 7, 2008.

DATES: The NRC recently has held public meetings on the Draft GEIS in Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming, as part of the public comment process for the Draft GEIS. Additionally, members of the public have been submitting written comments on the Draft GEIS since the initial notice of availability was published on July 28, 2008 (73 FR 43795). In response to multiple requests received at the public meetings and in writing, the comment period on the Draft GEIS is being extended to November 7, 2008. The NRC will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the extent practical. Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public are invited and encouraged to submit comments on the Draft GEIS to the Chief, Rulemaking, Directives, and Editing Branch, Mailstop: T6-D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
The NRC encourages comments submitted electronically to be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Please include ``Uranium Recovery GEIS'' in the subject line when submitting written comments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the NRC's NEPA process, or the environmental review process related to the Draft GEIS, please contact James Park, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 20555-001, by phone at 1(800) 368-5642, extension 6935.
For general or technical information associated with the safety and licensing of uranium milling facilities, please contact William Von Till, Branch Chief, Uranium Recovery Branch, DWMEP, Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, by phone at 1 (800) 368-5642, extension 0598.
I. Introduction
As stated previously, the NRC is accepting comments on the Draft GEIS. Following the end of the public comment period, the NRC staff will publish a Final GEIS that addresses, as appropriate, the public comments on the Draft GEIS. The NRC expects to publish the Final GEIS by June 2009.
II. Further Information
The Draft GEIS may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ by selecting ``NUREG-1910.''
Additionally, the NRC maintains an Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of the NRC's public documents. The Draft GEIS and its appendices may also be accessed through the NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room
on the Internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html

Information and documents associated with the Draft GEIS are also available for public review through the NRC's Web site for the GEIS, http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/licensing/geis.html
Both information and documents associated with the Draft GEIS also are available for inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, U.S. NRC's Headquarters Building, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.

For those without access to the Internet, paper copies of any electronic documents may be obtained for a fee by contacting the NRC's Public Document Room at 1-800-397-4209.

The draft GEIS and related documents may also be found at the following public libraries:
Natrona County Public Library, 307 East Second Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601, 307-332-5194;
Carbon County Public Library, 215 W Buffalo Street, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301, 307-328-2618;
Campbell County Public Library, 2101 South 4J Road, Gillette, Wyoming 82718, 307-687-0009;
Weston County Library, 23 West Main Street, Newcastle, Wyoming 82701, 307-746-2206;
Rapid City Public Library, 610 Quincy Street, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701, xxx-394-4171.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 29th day of September, 2008.
For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Patrice M. Bubar,
Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection,
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs.
[FR Doc. E8-23341 Filed 10-2-08; 8:45 am]

Comments: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/comments.htm
Search: http://epa.gov/fedreg/search.htm EPA's Federal Register: http://epa.gov/fedreg/

2. Sioux Ranger District Travel Management DEIS available for comments.
The Travel Management Planning Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is available for comment and review. The DEIS discloses the effects of a range of motorized travel management alternatives for the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer National Forest located in the northwest corner of South Dakota. This area also contains 89 abandoned uranium mines and prospects and numerous sacred places.

Public meetings are planned for Oct. 22, 2008, Carter County Event Center, Ekalaka, MT at 6:00 pm; and Oct. 23, 2008, Harding County Recreation Center, Buffalo, SD 6:00 pm.
The DEIS is available on the internet at http://www.fs.fed.us./r1/ custer For a paper or CD copy of the DEIS contact Babete Anderson at 406-657-6205 Ext 239, or write to her at 1310 Main St., Billings, MT 59105.

Federal Register / Vol 733. Comments sought on Craven Canyon exclusion from mining.
Sometimes the information isn’t all bad. Craven Canyon has long been known as a sacred site for many Native American nations due to the number of petroglyphs there. The US Forest Service recognizes the uniqueness of this area and wants it excluded from any possibility of mining. The following is information on the area. Please send a short letter or card to the address shown in support of this move by the US Forest Service. Thank you to the US Forest Service for their foresight.

4. Black Hills Pow Wow Table and Raffle
The Black Hills Pow Wow will be held on Oct. 10-11-12, 2008, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD. Each year, the Black Hills Pow Wow Committee has given Defenders a table so we can hand out information. It is also the start of the Defenders Fall Raffle. If you are at the Pow Wow, stop by and see us.
The Fall Raffle begins with the Black Hills Pow Wow and ends during the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament in December. Donations for the Raffle include: three paintings donated by Bill Swift Hawk; the ever popular Teepee Lamps made by Board member, Garvard Good Plume; jewelry donated by singer Skylar Wolfe; and a star quilt. Anyone wishing to donate an item worthy of a raffle ticket, please call xxx-399-1868. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Anyone wanting raffle tickets, please call xxx-399-1868, or write to: Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709.

5. Defenders Financial Status Report
Defenders has operated the organization primarily through the raffle, button, and other small donations. A few years ago, we did apply for and received larger grants, but did not apply in 2006-07. The following is the income and expenses for 2007 and to July 2008, for your information.
Annual Expenditures
Category                     2007         2008*
Copier/Copies         $ 2,238         $ 773
Postage/Mailings       1,690            473
Phone/Internet         2,367         1,468
Supplies                  1,788            591
Meeting Expenses     3,794            968
Legal/Fees                 0               705
Transportation         7,076          1,085
Other**                 9,324          2,592***
Total Expenditures: $28,277      $8,655
Annual Revenues
Grants/Honoraria $ 7,750 2,400
Online/Donations 8,645 3,528
Special/Other**** 10,000 0
Total Revenues: $26,395 5,928
* 2008 data is through June 30th.
** Other Expenditures (2007) includes car purchase of $7,232.
*** Other Expenditures (2008) includes international airfare of $1,746.
**** Special/Other Revenue (2007) is $10,000 Nuclear-Free Future Award.

Uranium Exploration Permit Application 6. Powertech applies for 30 more exploratory wells.
Powertech Uranium Mining Company already has more than 4,000 uranium exploratory wells in the Dewey Burdock area. We challenged their wanting 160 more wells last year but lost our fight. Now they are applying for 30 more wells. The following is the notice sent out by the state.

7. TSNTC Statement to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council (TSNTC) has been submitting statements and interventions to the various United Nations Committees for the past 25 years in seeking independence and rights for Indigenous peoples and nations. This year, due to the generosity of a Swiss foundation, Incomindios, Charmaine White Face, spokesperson for the TSNTC, was able to attend the first meeting of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 2 day Preparatory Meeting. Also the generosity of Leni and Jean-Pierre Moll and Emmanuel Civelli can never be repaid.
The following is the statement that was given to the five experts on the committee.

Tetuwan Oyate
Teton Soux Nation Treaty Council PO Box 140, Manderson, SD 57756
Statement to the United Nations
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Tetuwan Oyate submits this statement to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at their first session, Oct. 1-3, 2008.
It is extremely urgent that the situation regarding all of the places in the world where nuclear radiation is affecting Indigenous nations must be studied and reported immediately to the General Assembly for their action. It is imperative that in these areas the radiation is stopped as the consequence of this radioactive pollution is increasing the death rate through disease and the birth rate through miscarriages and infant mortality. The demise of any Indigenous nation is genocide when the cause of the demise is known and not extinguished.
Included in these areas of nuclear pollution to be studied is a region located in the large, north central portion of the United States where the Tetuwan Oyate, also known as the Teton Sioux Nation, have lived for thousands of years. This Region of the United State is also the last homeland of the Tetuwan Nation guaranteed for their "absolute and undistrubed use and occupation" in the last Treaty made with the United States, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. The Treaty is supposed to be protected by Article VI of the Constitution of the United States and the March 3rd Act of 1871. However, the U.S. has not upheld their own laws and Constitution and have displaced the Tetuwan Nation onto prisoner of war camps called Indian Reservations.
Radioactive particles from more than 1,000 abandoned uranium mines and prospects pollute the air, the land, the plants and animals, the surface water, and human beings. This same area in the United States is also known as "the Bread Basket of the World" as many agricultural products are grown there. Furthermore, the pollution is carried by wind currents across the Region to the Southern and Eastern parts of the United States and around the world. Radioactive particles from more than 10,000 deep uranium exploratory wells have already cross contaminated the underground water as proven by scientific studies. Tetuwan people living in the area have the highest rates of cancer and diabetes, while miscarriages and infant mortality are on the rise. This has been happening with the full knowledge of the government of the United States for the past 40 years, yet no warnings have been given to the public or to the world. We call this Region, "America's Secret Chernobyl."
On another topic, it would be a tragedy to the purposes and goals of the United Nations should any processes or procedures divide Indigenous peoples and nations. The reason for the first Indigenous members came to the United Nations was to gain for the oldest members of the family of nations, the Indigenous nations, a seat at the table. This purpose must not be forgotten. Unfortunately, it appears as if the United Nations is trying to avoid seating the oldest nations in the world by concentrating only on individual human rights.
Do not be distracted from this purpose by crumbs being thrown by the United Nations. Those crumbs include the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was approved by the General Assembly but is not the Declaration that was approved by Indigenous Peoples. The Permanent Forum and this Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples further detract from the focus of seats at the table for Indigenous nations, and cater to the needs of individuals. In Tetuwan values, the individual is not more important than the whole nation. In fact, individuals, sometimes families, sometimes entire clans will sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole nation according to Tetuwan values. The reason why Indigenous members came to the United Nations in the first place must not be forgotten. Indigenous nations need their own seats at the table of the family of nations and nothing less.
Submitted by Zumila Wobaga, Charmaine White Face, Spokesperson for the Tetuwan Oyate, Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council

Alberto Saldomondo & Lenny Foster - International Indian Treaty Council; Garvard Good Plume, Charmaine White Face and Clifford White Eyes - TSNTC at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 2008



Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests